How important were economic factors in the rise of fascist movements in inter-war Europe? Romania (views of Thompson)

  • Created by: Alasdair
  • Created on: 28-05-18 22:40
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  • How important were economic factors in the rise of fascist movements in inter-war Europe? Romania (views of Thompson)
    • Message of Romanian nationalists was that Romanians were descended from Roman colonialists and were superior to 'barborous' Slavs and other races
    • Gains in territory during WW1
      • led to enormous social, political, cultural and national tensions and super heated ethnic Romanian consciousness
        • In 1920s manifested especially in universities where Legion had its origins
    • Legion characterised by intense ideological commitment to Romanian ethnic nationalism and its no less intense commitment to extreme violence and leader-worship
      • features enabled it to dominate student union but otherwise its impact was relatively marginal before 1930s
    • Slump (Wall Street Crash) saw Legion succeed in attaining broader support
      • Made particular appeal to ethnic Romanian peasantry
        • played upon themes of exploitation, religion and paranoid antisemitism (many peasants were in debt to Jewish moneylenders, and to divert hostility, grasping landlords employed Jews as agents to exact their rents
    • Legion organised its intake of new followers into broader movement termed Iron Guard
      • Expanded into formidable paramilitary force, practically dictating government policy until royal regime struck back, arresting Cordeanu and having him murdered in prison
      • Cordenu elevated to martyr status and under his successor Horia Sima Iron Guard dominated regime of Ion Antonsecu and was on brink of taking over power when Hitler intervened

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